Athens, Ga. – The State Board of Pharmacy has mandated that every Georgia-licensed pharmacist receive three hours of disaster preparation training before Dec. 31, as part of their 30-hour continuing education requirement.
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia will offer pharmacists more opportunities this year to attend live training sessions: on Oct. 16, 8-11 a.m. during UGA’s Homecoming and on Dec. 3, 6-9 p.m. and Dec. 4, 9-12 noon atthe Finale Continuing Pharmacy Education Symposium at UGA’s Gwinnett Center in Lawrenceville. The training also is offered as a DVD or an online course.
“So far less than half of the 13,000 pharmacists in the state have completed their training,” said Trina von Waldner, director of postgraduate continuing education at the College of Pharmacy.
She has developed “Emergency Preparedness for Pharmacy: Preparing Pharmacists to Respond,” a course that has been approved by the state board to meet the licensure requirement.
The pharmacy college course defines the role of pharmacists in each type of disaster and enables them to identify and address threats that could occur in their practice areas. The training compares methods of mass vaccination and mass dispensing of prophylaxis and treatment, and provides instruction for planning and operating a mass vaccination clinic. The continuing education program leads pharmacists through the process of preparing for, planning for and responding to disasters on local, state and national levels.
A task force of health care professionals, appointed last year by Gov. Sonny Perdue, established guidelines to be used during various emergencies, such as a swine flu epidemic, for filling prescriptions, issuing antibiotics and giving vaccinations.
“As the largest network of health care providers in the state, pharmacists are trained and easily accessible to the public in all counties,” von Waldner said.
Registration and information for the live courses, the DVD and the online course are available at www.rxugace/emergency. For more information on the Board of Pharmacy requirement, see http://sos.georgia.gov/plb/pharmacy/.